Let me set this up properly.
So, my friends and I go out one Friday night to check out this new club in the city. We were stylin’ and howlin’, ready to party and dance like maniacs, until I realized that I was wearing my new Air Max 1 YEEZY’s.
I can already hear the collective howls of disappointment from the Sneakerheads.
Short to say the least, it was a terrible decision. Every sneaker aficionado like myself knows in good wisdom, to never, ever wear your favourite pair when you’re ready to tear the dance floor on a “P.I.O.L.O.” (P*ta I Only Live Once) night.
So there I was, dancing, walking, strutting and drinking. The club was packed! Very carefully, I tried to manoeuvre my way from one side of the club to the other without damaging my babies. But alas, it was a futile effort, because at this point, I knew my Yeezy’s were already far too exposed to the ways of the world or at the very least the nasty elements on that floor.
I may sound a little overprotective, but you’ll understand why later.
So at around 4AM we packed and sobered up. I got home, still quite buzzed — ok I was listing to the right. So I did what every over-partied, tipsy, sneakerhead would do if he were in my position: I apologised to my Yeezy’s as I whipped out my Clyde cleaners to start rinsing him off of all that muck from club. I like my sneakers clean! That’s all. I LOVE my sneakers.
But more than the sneakers, I love the brand, what it stood for and what it was for me. I respected it like I would any decent relationship.
Seriously, you have to understand that it’s not just ANY shoe. The Air Max has been here since 1987 and ever since, it has been an iconic shoe brand for Nike. I’m no official sneakerhead, but the Air Max line has always had a special place in my heart. There was a time I could only dream of owning a pair because they were far too expensive for me as a kid. I knew it was something I had to earn on my own. So as I juggled my time as an Arts student and graphic designer, I made it a point to get a pair of Nike’s for every project I completed. It was a reward and a reminder that I earned something I truly worked hard for.
That’s where my love for the Air Max began.
This was the very first pair of Air Max I bought for myself.
Bertos, meet the Nike Air Tuned Max (1999). They were gorgeous! At that time I couldn’t believe how it was conceived. That alien-skinned texture and silhouette was a game changer for me on how I saw sneakers. Nike has always been in the forefront of combining and experimenting with textures, patterns and colorways. This particular pair right here started it all for me. It got me hooked.
Enter frame: the Nike Air Max 90s and 1s.
This is where the story truly begins. I’ve never worn a pair of shoes so comfortable that I can walk around with them the whole day. It’s like a having a girlfriend whose arms are always around your waist, letting you feel that snug, warm, and comforting embrace while people around you marvel at how beautiful you are…together.
These Air Maxs have really captured me, not only as an artist, but as a designer and more importantly as a human being.
But again, I’m not one those guys who gets every pair that comes out. I am a rational and mature sneakerhead after all. I only get the ones that fit my personality and style. I am cognitive in my decisions too.
There should be harmony between you and your shoes.
It may be because I am an art director, and can get quite OC when it comes to well thought-out aesthetics. But it could also be because…they’re just so beautiful to match everything with! I get a kick out of it. Pun intended.
Hate Monday’s? Then style it up and wear some Nike Air Max 1s with a pair of joggers or pin-rolled chinos, topped off with a printed or plain shirt and your done. Let your AM1s pop-out! Even my local Starbucks knows me by my Air Max 1s rather than my name! True story.
The silhouette of this particular model is absolutely balanced. It’s neither too big, bulky nor small. The function and the design are clearly not compromised. Beautiful inside and out…a quality I look for in women too. Hah! But that’s another post.
Call me weird, fanatical or deranged, but I’ve learned a lot about myself because of my relationship with the AM1s. In all honesty, I can still function as a contributing member of society and I don’t have weird sneaker fetishes (or maybe I do). But my relationship with the Air Max brings me back to when I had virtually nothing. It reminds me that I can dream and aspire for something. It taught me to set goals for myself. It also proved to me that good, patient and hard work will always be rewarded.
I currently have 30 wearable sneakers and high tops that I still use today. That includes other brands and my AM90s and 1s. But I am clearly in love with the Nike AM1s right now. I just can’t stand not wearing one everyday. I wear it to my meetings with corporate big wigs and semi-formal events. I feel like a cheat just thinking about wearing another brand. But that’s just me and yes, they’re just a pair of shoes. I understand that some will probably never relate to this and that’s absolutely fine. But when the day comes, this is likely the pair I’ll be wearing as I walk down toward the altar. And what a glorious day it would be to marry a woman who loves her sneakers as much as I do mine. Now THAT’s a love story.